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post #1 of 16 Old 03-16-2017 Thread Starter
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Mainsheet Clutch

I have an Oday 34 with mid boom traveler mounted on the cabin top. The mainsheet is run through a clutch and my dingy sailing wife is used to a clam cleat for blowing off. It seems a clam cleat would be quicker than trying to open a clutch, but I've seen many larger boats use the clutch. What are the advantages and how do sailors blow off if caught in an unexpected gust? Thx
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-16-2017
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Re: Mainsheet Clutch

For dumping wind fast we use the traveler and that is stopped by a cam cleat . Our boats main sheet is rigged to a winch and a jamb cleat , I suppose a cam cleat would work in place of the jamb cleat but I would still have the main sheet wrapped on the winch .

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post #3 of 16 Old 03-16-2017
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Re: Mainsheet Clutch

Use the traveler in gusts. easing the traveler reduces the heel while allowing less weather helm so it is easier to keep the boat under control.

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Re: Mainsheet Clutch

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Originally Posted by NickyP View Post
I have an Oday 34 with mid boom traveler mounted on the cabin top. The mainsheet is run through a clutch and my dingy sailing wife is used to a clam cleat for blowing off. It seems a clam cleat would be quicker than trying to open a clutch, but I've seen many larger boats use the clutch. What are the advantages and how do sailors blow off if caught in an unexpected gust? Thx
I think the answer is that you never close the clutch while the sail is up, leave the sheet on the winch. Release the sheet off the winch to ease the main. If you are sailing in a breezing day take the turns around the winch and then keep the sheet in hand just in case. When not racing I personally prefer to ease the main in a breeze, or when ducking a starboard tack boat, as you can be certain you will successfully unload the boat. With a cabintop traveler, it is easier to ease the sheet than easing the traveler.

I only close the mainsheet clutch when the sail has been lowered, to lock the boom in place so the main can be furled.

I have been considering routing the mainsheet over the clutch to eliminate the chance of the clutch being closed when you want the main to be eased...
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Last edited by sailingfool; 03-16-2017 at 03:17 PM.
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Re: Mainsheet Clutch

For ease of 'dumping' - either by mainsheet or by traveller control, consider a (Harken) trigger cleat(s) led to a Harken Hexaratchet(s).
The trigger cleat has a special 'lever' at the bottom 'throat' to the jaws .... a 'downward' pull on the line operates the trigger - and the cam cleat jaws 'explode' open.
The Hexaratchets are sheaves with 'faceted' (flat faced surfaces) which allow 'easy' and precise control of how fast the line pays out over the sheave. The tighter you 'tail' the line the more the faceted sheaves bears the strain and friction, with little to no tailing pressure the line pays out with minimal friction. Of course, all this isn't cheap; but, really saves your hands when you're constantly dumping either the mainsheet or traveller controls.

If the above interests you and you have the extra $$$ to spend, consider a Harkin 'shiftable' mainsheet control. Such can 'shift' the purchase ratios (up or down - high gear/low gear) by how much and where you tail the line. Great for NOT forming heavy thick callouses on the sides of your little fingers when constantly tweaking the mainsheet during wildly unstable wind flow.
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Re: Mainsheet Clutch

sailingfool, the mid boom traveler has a 6 to 1 purchase so I've never needed the winch for the mainsheet. Would you wrap the winch and cleat the sheet?
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post #7 of 16 Old 03-16-2017
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Re: Mainsheet Clutch

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Originally Posted by RichH View Post
For ease of 'dumping' - either by mainsheet or by traveller control, consider a (Harken) trigger cleat(s) led to a Harken Hexaratchet(s).
The trigger cleat has a special 'lever' at the bottom 'throat' to the jaws .... a 'downward' pull on the line operates the trigger - and the cam cleat jaws 'explode' open.
The Hexaratchets are sheaves with 'faceted' (flat faced surfaces) which allow 'easy' and precise control of how fast the line pays out over the sheave. The tighter you 'tail' the line the more the faceted sheaves bears the strain and friction, with little to no tailing pressure the line pays out with minimal friction. Of course, all this isn't cheap; but, really saves your hands when you're constantly dumping either the mainsheet or traveller controls.

If the above interests you and you have the extra $$$ to spend, consider a Harkin 'shiftable' mainsheet control. Such can 'shift' the purchase ratios (up or down - high gear/low gear) by how much and where you tail the line. Great for NOT forming heavy thick callouses on the sides of your little fingers when constantly tweaking the mainsheet during wildly unstable wind flow.
I found the trigger cleat not that good. the jaws do not really explode open. the line has to have pressure on the release bar to hold the jaws open. it work's for a controlled release but if you let off on the sheet tension then the cleat closes again. you have to balance the sheet tension to keep the cleat jaws open. really did not work very smooth. works even worse if used with a ratchet block. The Harken Ratchomatic blocks are a better answer, self adjusting for light or heavy air and used with a cam cleat work very well in all conditions.

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Last edited by overbored; 03-16-2017 at 05:23 PM.
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post #8 of 16 Old 03-16-2017
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Re: Mainsheet Clutch

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Originally Posted by NickyP View Post
sailingfool, the mid boom traveler has a 6 to 1 purchase so I've never needed the winch for the mainsheet. Would you wrap the winch and cleat the sheet?
6 to 1 does not need a winch and could be held by a Cam cleat on that size mainsail

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post #9 of 16 Old 03-16-2017
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Re: Mainsheet Clutch

Hey,

I'm confused. Does the traveler have a 6:1 purchase or does the main sheet have a 6:1 or do both of them have a 6:1?

I used to have an o'day 35 (same basic boat). I had a 3:1 traveler and 4:1 main sheet (I think). I definitely needed the winch to bring in the main. I could muscle the traveler up but my wife could not. As mentioned, I used to leave the mainsheet clutch open and use the self tailing winch to hold the sheet. Remove the sheet from the self tailer and it would run pretty quick. The only time the clutch was closed was when I needed to adjust another line, like the reef line, etc.

Barry


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Originally Posted by NickyP View Post
sailingfool, the mid boom traveler has a 6 to 1 purchase so I've never needed the winch for the mainsheet. Would you wrap the winch and cleat the sheet?
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post #10 of 16 Old 03-16-2017
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Re: Mainsheet Clutch

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Originally Posted by NickyP View Post
sailingfool, the mid boom traveler has a 6 to 1 purchase so I've never needed the winch for the mainsheet. Would you wrap the winch and cleat the sheet?
I am not sure the meaning of your first sentence. Our mainsheet is 6:1 but requires using the Lewmar ST 30 to trim it in a breeze. We normally leave the main sheet in the self-tailer unless we are crossing tacks with another boat in which case it is kept in hand...

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